Leaves Fall Down

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Floral Wrap Cardigan: Target / Embroidered Tank: Target / Denim: AG Jeans / Fringe Booties: Target (old) – similar / Beaded Bracelets: Guilty Jean / Gold Bangle: Gifted – Engraved with “Today my matron of honor, forever my best friend.”

Things you don’t have time for when you have two children…1) Styling your hair (I somehow managed a blow dry that day, but let me tell you it’s rare, and 2) Ironing your shirt. I have to admit, it didn’t even look wrinkled to me when I left that house, but these photos are proving otherwise! I would say that I am embarrassed, but at the same time the odds of me managing to actually iron it and get out the door for our Friendsgiving event would have been slim to none. So I’m just going to own my un-ironed, wrinkled shirt and chalk it up to motherhood.

Friendsgiving was fantastic with our old Manhattan crew who is slowly moving out of the city (sadface). We met in Jersey and Nico actually had a little playmate this year as our friends have a son as well and they were both old enough to interact this year (and also have extreme meltdowns in tandem…well played boys, well played.) We shared a lovely meal, some wine, games, and conversation as we caught up with each other on life. I think we are going to need to make it a habit to do things like this more often.

The following day was spent out on Staten Island celebrating a cousin’s after-wedding brunch. Congrats cousin!! Much of my close family including my parents and grandmother (who is celebrating a birthday today!) were in town so it was great to be able to see everyone on our turf this time. It was also a lot of fun to catch up with our Staten Island cousins and have them meet the kiddos.

This week is a busy one as we are leaving town next week, so grinding it out and getting things done!

Lastly, I would like to announce the WINNER of the Chalk It Up Giveaway! Drumroll please….ANGELA!

Yes, my very own sister. I promise I picked out of a hat!

CONGRATULATIONS little sis! Thanks for being a loyal reader of p + p and a lover of beautiful chalk designs. Kristyn will be reaching out to you to shortly.

A BIG thank you to everyone who participated!

XO,

Gina

Creative Ideas for Engagement Gifts

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Photo Credit: Misa Me Photography

Since becoming a mom, I sometimes feel that I have neglected to be a very good friend.  I have always been the person who remembered every single birthday of friends and family members.  I remembered to call.  I remembered to go out of my way to do something nice on an important day for them.  Nowadays, I am lucky if I even know what day it is, let alone that there is something special going on that day.  I love my friends and want them to know that I still love them.  I know being a mommy is not an excuse to forget about my friends, and I hope they know that I do still think about them often, even if I don’t always remember to call.

One particular instance of me being a bad friend…my bestie from high school called me up one night when I was particularly exhausted from lack of sleep.  I felt bad for not answering, but I just didn’t have the energy to have the catch up session that we needed.  The next day, she called again when I was in the middle of watching both my son and another child at the same time for the first day.  I figured since she called again, that it was important, but again it was just a bad time.  I answered, but immediately said, “Hey, can I call you back.  I’m watching two babies and it’s a little insane.”  She said “ok” but sounded like she really wanted to talk, so I said, “What’s up?” and she follows with “I’M ENGAGED!!!”

Oh. Em. Gee!!!  No wonder she was calling so much!  And here I am blowing her off, because I’m too crazy and tired on one of the most important days of her life!  What a jerk!  I said, “Congratulations, and I will definitely call you back later to hear the story.”  To which I did follow through.  Upon calling her back, she says, “Did you remember today is also my birthday?” F@#$!!!!!!  Ok, I am officially the worst. friend. EVER.  I knew her birthday was coming up, but when the actual day arrived, I didn’t even know the date.  I felt AWFUL.

Luckily, she is an amazing person and has forgiven me.  And I know gift giving totally doesn’t erase the fact that I am a nincompoop.  HOWEVER!  It’s cannot hurt, and I totally owe her one.  So I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with some creative engagement gifts to send her way, and here are some of the ideas that have crossed my mind:

Wedding Planning Basket:  As a new bride-to-be, it can be really exciting to think about planning your wedding, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.  A wedding planning basket will give them a little boost to get started and fill them with ideas and organization tips.  Include bridal magazines, a planner, pen, thank you card, ideas for local vendors, to-do list with typical budgets, wedding-themed movies to put them in the wedding planning mood, and more.

Personalized Champagne Glasses:  Nothing says celebrate like champagne!  I love the idea of personalized champagne glasses with the names of the couple and the date of their wedding.  They can use them for the big toast on their wedding day, and toast again with them year after year on their anniversary.  Include a nice bottle of champagne for the win.

Take Them Out/Send them Out:  Take them out for a night on the town, a nice dinner, or a fun activity you know they will enjoy to celebrate the new journey they will take together.  You could also get them a gift certificate to send them on their own adventure together.  A couples massage to relax before their big day would be one of my favorites to suggest!

Create a Slide Show:  Gather photos from friends and family members to compile an adorable slide show for the future bride and groom.  The thought and effort put into the project will mean the world to the engaged couple.  You can include photos from their childhood  with family and friend or include photos of solely the couple themselves on their many adventures together.  The slide show can be used at an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.

Photography Session:  Speaking of photos, a professional engagement photography session could be an amazing gift for a couple.  With all the insane amount of expenses that come along with planning a wedding, a couple might not have it in their budget to include an engagement session as well.  The photos could be used for their future “save the dates,” thank you cards, at the wedding, or framed and hung in their home.

Personalized Art Work:  My husband and I received a piece of art work for our wedding, and we still have it hanging in our home.  Something sweet to hang as a reminder of their special day will always be appreciated.  I really enjoy this simple Happily Ever After piece from Etsy.  Artwork is also not limited to the wall!  A personalized platter, ring holder, pillow, or anything else for the home could be a great gift and beautiful  reminder of their special day.

Wine Box:  If the engaged couple is into wine, a wine box could be a really fun idea.  Choose about 6 bottles of wine or so and label them with tags for different milestones that they will reach in their lives (First Anniversary, 10th Anniversary, First Home, First Christmas, etc.)  Make sure to ask someone at the wine store for advice as they may be able to suggest wines that age well.  You could also include a bottle of sparkling cider to toast their First Child.  If they have a different drink of choice, you could do a similar box filled with beer, mini liquor bottles, or something else that would interest them.

Personalized Greeting Card:  Sometimes it’s the simple things that mean the most.  A personalized greeting card is an inexpensive, yet thoughtful way to let someone know you are happy for them.  I absolutely love the greeting card options available at Treat.  They have lovely designs, deliver right to the recipient’s door, and they can also include photos or a gift card inside if you wish.

I cannot divulge what option I ultimately decided on because said friend might be reading this post, and I haven’t presented her with my gift yet.  😉  Hopefully one of these ideas will speak to you.  I know I will definitely be returning to this list for future friend’s engagements.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I have a short week here in New York, before I head off to my longtime friend and pen-pal’s wedding in Arizona!  I haven’t seen her since our Tucson reunion last year, so I am very much excited to see her and her awesome fiancé tie the knot!

XO,

Gina

A Summer Shower

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Recently, the matrons of honor along with the bridesmaids (myself included) and close family threw a beautiful wedding shower for our dear friend Teri that was all about the details.  Starting with the “guestbook” above made out of a Jenga game, the delicious mimosa bar with fresh fruit, customized “Rome” (her future new last name) gift bags for the guests, handcrafted custom made gifts, and carefully designed centerpieces, this shower definitely showed both creativity and care in every aspect of the event.  All of the bridesmaids are currently married, and Teri was involved with each one of our weddings.  This was truly our chance to give back to her and show her how much we appreciate having her in our lives.  A custom slide show was designed with photos of her and her fiancé and their loved ones, and we also played a little game where we interviewed her fiancé, Charlie, on camera to see how many questions they could answer the same.  It was a great time, and we hope that Teri enjoyed being showered with love on her special day.  The countdown to the wedding in October is getting close, and I am definitely getting excited to see these two tie the knot!

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This was one of my favorite gifts that she was given, handcrafted by a guest on canvas.

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This cool handcrafted water container was first personalized with puffy paint, and then painted over with chalkboard paint, so you can actually write on the outside! So great!

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Hope you enjoyed the photos from the shower!

The weather has been beautiful in NY so far this week.  I have been super busy both with work and life.  Just trying to find a moment to breathe…

Enjoy your Wednesday!

XO,

Gina

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